Posts Tagged ‘milk’
1 qt. milk
Sticks of cinnamon OR three peach leaves
6 eggs, beaten
2 tbs. white sugar
Put a quart of milk into a tin pail or a pitcher that holds two quarts; set it into a kettle of hot water. Tin is better than earthen, because it heats so much quicker. Put in a few sticks of cinnamon, or three peach leaves. When the milk foams up as if nearly boiling, stir in six eggs which have been beaten, with two spoonfuls of white sugar; stir it every instant, until it appears to thicken a little. Then take out the pail, and pour the custard immediately into a cold pitcher, because the heat of the pail will cook the part of the custard that touches it, too much, so that it will curdle. This is a very easy way of making custards, and none can be better. But in order to have them good, you must attend to nothing else until they are finished. You may make them as rich as you choose. A pint of milk, a pint of cream, and eight eggs will make them rich enough for any epicure. So, on the other hand, they are very good with three or four eggs only to a quart of milk, and no cream.
From The Young Housekeeper’s Friend by Mrs. [M.H.] Cornelius, 1863
Comment: As few of us keep tin pails around as cooking utensils these days, it will probably be easier to make this recipe in a double boiler since that is the technique in question here. Custard usually suggests nowadays a semi-solid pudding, eaten with a spoon, but this one is thin enough that it could serve as a drink. Commercially packaged “boiled custard,” indeed a drink, is found in stores in the South in the same part of the dairy case, and at the same time of year, as eggnog. The two drinks are indeed similar in many ways, although eggnog is spicier and goes better with brandy.
1 lb. coconut, grated
1 pint whole milk
6 oz. white sugar
6 eggs, whites separated from yolks
To a pound of grated cocoa-nut allow a pint of unskimmed milk, and six ounces of white sugar. Beat very light the yolks of six eggs. Stir them gradually into the milk, alternately with the cocoa-nut and sugar. Put the mixture into a pitcher; set it in a vessel of boiling water; place it on hot coals, and simmer it till it is very smooth and thick; stirring it all the time. As soon as it comes to a hard boil, take it off the fire; pour it into a large bowl, and set it out to cool. When cold, put it into glass cups. Beat to a stiff froth the white of egg that was left, and pile it on the custards.
From Miss Leslie’s Directions for Cookery by Eliza Leslie, 1851
Comment: The advice to “put the pitcher in a vessel of boiling water” would today be phrased simply as “cook in a double boiler” which prevents the eggs from curdling or cooking before they have time to blend smoothly with the other ingredients. Those who have never made pudding from scratch are usually surprised as much by how easy it is, as by how much better the resulting dessert is than “puddings” made from powders in a little box.
Eliza Leslie was the premier cook and cookbook writer of the middle 19th century, rather as Julia Child was to the 20th. Her first book, Seventy-Five Receipts for Pastry, Cakes and Sweetmeats, was published in 1828 under the authorship of “A Lady of Philadelphia” since the conventions of the time did not consider book authorship a suitable profession for a “proper” woman. It sold like, you should pardon the expression, hotcakes, and Miss Leslie was soon in a position to claim the credit of authorship on her subsequent books to which she was entitled.
Her works are entirely enjoyable to the modern reader as she was one of the few of the time who did not intersperse her recipes with moralistic hectoring, lectures on the proper treatment of servants, diatribes on the evils of alcohol, tips on childrearing and husband-pleasing, or similar irrelevancies.